Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Ancient Music AM01

For lovers of all things ethereal, mysterious, unworldly and with one foot in our collective ancient past, Fishe Or Fowle by Kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch is an absolute must. The material has been gleaned from a variety of sources, ranging from the West Country to Kent, the Western Isles and the Orkneys. Kate and Corwen must surely be applauded for their diligence and perseverance in seeking out this unique collection of unusual songs. The concept of the album is to explore “the theme of transformation into, and communication with, creatures of sea and sky” - Fishe or Fowle indeed. In addition to the 15 tracks on the main CD, there is also a second CD with a rendition of the epic ballad from the Orkneys collected in the 1800s by Walter Traill Dennison, entitled Play O’ de Lathie Odivere.

The production of this double album, as you would expect having gone to all the trouble in searching out the material, is quite superb. Kate is the main vocalist with Corwen singing the occasional lead. To assist Kate’s enchanting vocals there is a collection of equally enchanting musical instruments: lyres, bowed lyres, harps, gusli, kantele, shawms, gue, crwth, pibgorn, slagbordun, but above all the music is tied together with a deft use of a “wheezing and clunking” (as they put it) pedal harmonium. There are so many interesting songs on offer it is hard to single out any one in particular, but The Laily Worm And The Machrel (Mackerel) Of The Sea along with Swallows’ Wings are particularly fine renditions which suit Kate’s haunting voice admirably.

This is a fine collection, expertly performed throughout, of songs rarely heard, dusted off and given a new lease of life. It is highly enjoyable to listen to, with a profound understanding of the music and the best way to present it.

John Oke Bartlett

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 119 of The Living Tradition magazine.